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How to Let Go: Learning to Deal with Loss

Depression vs. sadness

  • Sadness occurs when something feels bad. 
  • Depression occurs when something feels meaningless. 

When something feels bad, at least it has meaning. In depression, everything becomes a big blank void. 

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How to Let Go: Learning to Deal with Loss

How to Let Go: Learning to Deal with Loss

https://markmanson.net/how-to-let-go

markmanson.net

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Key Ideas

Change and the unchangeable

We like to think that things can be changed. That we are in control somehow.  That's why “never” hurts, because never means that it can’t be changed. “Never” means it’s over. It’s gone. And that’s really hard to bear.

Meaning and relationships

  • We generate meaning through relationships. And meaning is the fuel of our minds. 
  • Our relationships also define our understanding of ourselves. And when one of these relationships is destroyed, that part of our identity is destroyed along with it. 

2 ways we react to loss

  • The healthy response to loss is to slowly construct new relationships and bring new meaning into one’s life.
  • The unhealthy response to loss is to refuse to accept it. It’s to cling to the past and desperately try to recover it or relive it in some way. 

Toxic vs. healthy relationships

  • A toxic relationship: people are emotionally dependent on each other -  they use drama and use each other for the approval and respect they are unable to give themselves.
  • A healthy relationship: people are emotionally interdependent with each other -  they approve of and respect each other because they approve of and respect themselves.

Getting better at accepting loss

  • Understand that our memories lie to us and convince us that everything was awesome in the past.
  • Surround yourself with people who love and appreciate you for who you are.
  • Invest in your relationship with yourself and do whatever you want.

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Dropping “Hints”

It shows that you two are not comfortable communicating openly and clearly with one another. 

State your feelings and desires openly. And make it clear that the other person is not ne...

Holding the Relationship Hostage

For example, if someone feels like you’ve been cold to them, instead of saying, “I feel like you’re being cold sometimes,” they will say, “I can’t date someone who is cold to me." 

It’s crucial for both people in a relationship to know that negative thoughts and feelings can be communicated safely to one another without it threatening the relationship itself. 

Blaming Your Partner

... for your own emotions. This is a subtle form of selfishness and a classic example of the poor maintenance of personal boundaries. Take responsibility for your own emotions and expect your partner to be responsible for theirs. 

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Jack Mezirow

"By far the most significant learning experience in adulthood involves critical self-reflection - reassessin..."

Jack Mezirow
3 areas of life to clarify

You need to have absolute clarity over 3 fundamental facts:

  • Your goals (the destination)
  • Your current situation (your coordinates)
  • The path that connects both of them (the route).

A very simple, but crucial principle: if you don’t know where you are, you can never reach the place where you want to be.

The world of the status quo bias

Making an alternative choice is hard because we are neurologically wired to favor the default solution, even if it brings suboptimal results.

As the complexity of a decision increases, so does our tendency to stick with the answer we know.

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Couples In Lockdown

In lockdown(or home quarantine), relationships are being stress-tested across the globe, as couples and partners live together 24/7, and have to deal with:

  • New kinds of stressful situa...
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Everyone is stressed out as there are losses all around. Most of us miss life before the lockdown. It is a good idea to let those feelings come out, listen attentively to the partner, and maybe give a hug, while avoiding any ‘fix-it’ response.

Rituals

Rituals are important to maintain a positive connection. A ritual can be anything that makes you and your partner regularly turn towards each other, emotionally, physically or spiritually.


Rituals of connection form the pillars of this culture, making the bond stronger by reinforcing it.

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